By Paolo Grossi
This booklet explores the advance of legislations in Europe from its medieval origins to the current day, charting the transformation from legislation rooted within the Church and native neighborhood in the direction of a attractiveness of the centralised, secular authority of the kingdom.
- Shows how those alterations mirror the broader political, financial, and cultural advancements inside ecu history
- Demonstrates the variety of traditions among eu states and the chances and barriers within the look for universal eu values and goals
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Extra resources for A History of European Law
Our jurists were certainly interpreters of Roman law, but not in the modern European sense of that word, denoting readers of a text who allow the text itself to condition their responses. Their interpretatio, and I use the Latin term here for clarity, is more of a mediation between ancient law and novel facts than an explanation or exegesis of the source texts. By tradition the first great medieval school, established at Bologna in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, produced glossators, whilst the more mature, culturally rounded institutions set up in thirteenth- and fourteenthcentury Italy and Europe produced commentators.
1 It is obvious that the collective consciousness began to doubt the loadbearing pillars of the old order, which appeared to be about to buckle. Both nature and culture seemed to have betrayed late medieval man by failing to guarantee his survival. This led to a belief in the need to reform the old social, political and legal order from top to bottom, emphasizing a new set of values. The fourteenth century is a very singular point in time: the response to this crisis in underlying structures takes the form of a theological and philosophical reflection, which attempts to reform completely the anthropology of the Middle Ages.
This elevated position explains the medievals’ great faith in their jurists. However, so as not to jump to misleading conclusions, we must add that this scholarship is of a concrete, pragmatic nature. As we shall see, medieval jurists are no cloistered academics, foolishly absorbed in theoretical projects entirely abstract from their context. Instead, this is an age of great thinkers – mostly teachers at the many universities now dotted across Europe6 – real flesh-and-blood characters, well integrated into civil society and often occupying positions of power and prestige.